‘An unfortunate accident’: police identify man who fell 100 feet off Mt. Olympus to his death

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Unified Police Department say 54-year-old James Roach died Saturday morning from injuries he sustained after falling 100 feet off of Mt. Olympus.

UPD states that Roach and a friend were getting ready to rock climb when he slipped and fell off the ledge.

Get Utah’s latest news sent to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to the free ABC4 daily newsletter.

Salt Lake City Search and Rescue tells ABC4 “unfortunately it’s been a busy week” for them and add “be prepared when you go out for a hike.” 

“Unfortunately, just slipped and fell,” shares Unified Police Detective Ken Hansen. “The terrain is not forgiving up there and so what we do need to be is better prepared when we go up in Utah’s mountains.”

Utah’s mountains have now claimed the lives of two Salt Lake City men within the last two days.

Unified Police say the topography could include treacherous terrain since the seasons are overlapping.

ABC4 spoke to experienced hikers who state “Utah is too beautiful to not enjoy the outdoors.”

“The thing is you can die in a car,” Colleen Jemmett shares. “It doesn’t matter what you do, there is always a risk you just have to take precautions and just make sure you are not in hurry with the climbing and the hiking or anything else you do.”

“Also getting to the top of a mountain is such a rewarding feeling after working all day and finally getting to the top and seeing the beautiful view,” adds Victoria Garaycochea.

UPD says Roach and his friend were equipped with all the right gear.

Both Jemmett and Garaycochea say even the most experienced outdoorsmen and women deal with troubling times.

“It’s always risky whatever endeavor you do whether it’s hiking or rock climbing, so you have to weigh the risks with the rewards you also have to be smart about it too,” Garaycochea shares.

Salt Lake City Search and Rescue say the hikers were on the West Slabs of Mt. Olympus getting ready to rock climb. Roach then slipped on steep snow, hit a wall of rocks, and died from head injuries.

Search and rescue crews airlifted Roach’s friend off the mountain and then recovered Roach’s body. 

Intermountain Life Flight and the Department of Public Safety, and the assistance of several other climbers and guides in the area helped with the rescue and recovery.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Utah Coronavirus

More Coronavirus Updates

IN FOCUS

More In Focus

Justice Files

More Justice Files